Just joining the story? There is so much more! The adventure starts HERE.
Nym was sitting quietly regaining her strength after her exposure to the strange object marked Kronos. Amos knew that she was anxious to finish their search and leave this accursed room. She had found a small journal of writings by Captain Ghostraven, and without putting too much emphasis on any one entry, she thumbed through the book. She had collected several effects that she considered important to her research, and filed them into her satchel carefully.
She still could not understand the final engraving, the one made after the door was altered, and it troubled her.
Amos busied himself looking through all of the shelves and racks trying to seem nonchalant in his search for the Apport Sextant. Occasionally, Nym would look up and watch him with a look that seemed almost forlorn. He swallowed the guilt as best he could, hoping that he could deliver the object to Magruder and no one would be the worse for it. Job done. Hands washed.
Finally, on a shelf near the floor and just parallel to Nym’s work table, he found the object labeled Apport Sextant. At first glance there was nothing unusual about it and he worried how he would be able to get it into his bag without Nym noticing. He crouched next to the object, looking back at her, looking around the room, waiting for his chance to remove it. After a minute or two, Amos heard the metal chair slide backwards, and watched Nym rise with her book in hand. She walked away from him toward the shelves and seeing the window of opportunity open, he slid the device from it’s dusty space. As he opened his bag, however, he was halted by the distinct sound of a pistol being cocked.
Amos turned abruptly to see Nym standing behind him with her pistol drawn and aimed at his back.
“I see you have found something interesting?” She said, with a sort of tense politeness.
“Peach…” Amos stammered looking up, “I can explain this.”
Nym closed the distance between them some, never lowering her pistol or taking her eyes off of Amos. He struggled to read her eyes feeling deeply ashamed.
“No. I think I’ll explain, then, if I have missed anything, you can correct me.” Her tone was cool and controlled:
“After having been called a witch and threatened not to come near you ever again, I figured you to have left on the next available ship. I realized though that the stolen ship you arrived in would be at the impound. It was a long shot, but I went there to see if I could examine the ship for any sort of information about the Celestial Heliograph.” Nym felt her head spinning with the memory of Amos peacocking his way out of the jailhouse. How could she have ever let herself have feelings for that man? She felt such a fool, and the taste of it was like blood in her mouth, cold and metal.
” The constable informed me that you had already come to collect the ship, paid it’s hold in full and produced papers of ownership. He was confused by this, as he was well aware that when you were in custody they found little more than a couple shiny on you. When he suggested that you had been stealing and forging and you told him that I had been helping you.” The truth of the words was biting. With all of her strength she metered her words. He had used her and tricked her- he had no right to see her cry.
“A friend of Emily’s trying to set you to right.” Nym’s grief had turned to anger and in a flash she mocked him, “The constable knew that it was false, and told you to be out of town by the end of that day. But you couldn’t leave? Why? What did you need in Meiville?” Nym asked rhetorically, “I doubt it was because you felt it would not have been right to leave me after I had done you so properly. Almost everyday since, you have gone to Ettie’s Tea House before coming to see me at the Archive-You of course know that Ettie is the constable’s wife- and you are making sure they know you’re with me, I think. Keeping your profile low, as they say.”
Amos’ heart was racing. She had known. All this time, she had known something about what he was going through. His heart sunk, knowing that he should have told her the truth when it was still an option. He was a coward and and a liar -an acidic taste like bile filled his throat. Nym, still engaging him with her pistol, took the Apport Sextant from Amos and held it out, looking at it from all angles.
“Get up.” She said to him coldly, placing the device on the table between them.
“So, I have to wonder, Amos. Why? Why would you go through such lengths to help me. True, you could just be using me to stay in town for your own purpose – but maybe there is more? Maybe you need something from Marcel’s Steampunk and Pirates, too? Maybe it is something you can’t get to without help… And her I am, your little helper.” Nym gestured ironically from her head to her foot, her eyes iron.
“Nym, please!” Amos pleaded. She was correct of course, from a certain perspective, completely correct. But there was more – so much more! If only he could make her listen, maybe he could make her understand…
Nym’s resolve was starting to break and a bitter heat was tingling her nose and cheeks, a burn in her eyes that revealed that she had fought too long to restrain her tears. The look in his eyes was so tortured. Maybe he was the man she had come to know? Maybe she was wrong… Nym- feeling herself weakening -made herself remember what it had looked like only a few minutes before when he sat waiting for her to turn her back; And remembering made her all the more the fool.
“And,” Nym sighed, “at last I’ve lead you to the thing, like an obedient spaniel . There it is, Amos. Take it.You will never know how much I wanted to be wrong about you. How much I let myself believe in you.”
Amos saw the pain in her eyes and shame ripped through him painfully.
Uncocking her pistol, Nym turned her back on him and the Apport Sextant.
Nym allowed the tears to silently roll down her cheeks, safe from his eyes. She heard Amos shifting. She could feel him come nearer to her, half expecting to feel his hand on her shoulder- instead she heard only the sound of metal as he lifted the Apport Sextant from the table.
Her heart gave up being strong and allowed itself to break.